AlchemyThe pictures stenciled on my heart have squelched
ten thousand thousand words. Unspeakable
destruction haunts me. When the towers belched
they spewed forth malice, infinitely vile.
My spirit joined with countless kindred souls
to mourn, to cry, to contemplate a state
of evil foreign, new, where none consoles
and each confronts an omnipresent fate.
Despair to anger shifted as the pain
too ponderous to bear alone forged knots
between the folk whose parallel mundane
existence melted. Heart to heart responds.
In unity we stand as evil fails.
The ultimate result is good prevails.
I wrote this ten years ago. I can't say it better now. My heart goes out to those whose lives were forever changed that day and in the clean-up and the battles and deployments afterwards. Thank you for your service. That's so hollow. But so heartfelt.
Months ago, my partners and I planned a book to come out in time to promote it for this day. It came out. We said so, but we didn't push it because, for my part at least, that seemed so crass. When a real fan of ours saw the book for the first time on Friday, she didn't know it existed. I guess we did a good job of not being crass. I'm glad. We can build our business on other events. And now we can market the book because it has a real message. The title is The Harsh and The Heart - Celebrating the Military. You can ask me where to find it. I'm not going to be commercial today. We used this poem in the book. And this one, along with my partners, which concludes the book:
Thanks For Your Service
Barb’s dad wrote love letters
from North Africa then
letters from Sam to Mrs. Sam
censored by Sam.
Her uncle Joe memorized
the eye chart to get to Korea,
was shipped home on a hospital ship,
discharged when glasses broke.
Sending a Texas flag to a nephew
at Diego Garcia, books to Iraq,
two of each, ready for sharing,
a murmured “Thanks for your service”
even in the courtroom,
judge to defendant.
Ginny says both her dads,
Navy men, shared a birthday
and fondness for tattoos.
Becky, daughter of a Marine,
Air Force wife, saw Spain,
Japan, Germany from base pivots.
Patriots, sure –the easy way,
loving liberty, accepting its gifts,
- Then sniping escalated,
exploding to unthinkable
as terrorists made weapons
of Americans, as horror came home.
Ten years have passed,
thousands have sacrificed lives,
limbs, sons, daughters, their hearts.
Thanks for your service? Oh, yes.
Simple words, heartfelt words.
But it’s what we can do.